|Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu|
The Good In The State:
The government has completed some roads in the state, including the
Umuola and Winners Junction Road in Aba, commissioned by former
President Olusegun Obasanjo last December. These roads cut across the
three geopolitical zones of the state. It is constructing a new bridge
at Okonu Afia, Ohafia, and has done a realignment of the bridge at
The government is presently working on 47 active sites. There are plans
between the state and the neighbouring Akwa Ibom to jointly rehabilitate
the shared federal roads. Abia State is also pioneering the use of
cement technology (or what experts call rigid pavement technology in
road construction). This involves casting with concrete over a mass of
iron before asphalting the road. The idea is to extend the lifespan of
Establishment of Trade Centers: Abia is establishing
trade centres where old professions are to be revived. This will be
supervised and handled by Mexicans and Filipinos. The idea is for them
to begin to teach Abia children the rudiments of the old craft works
like carpentry, masonry, house wring so that the state can produce
household items without going abroad to import them. Also traders will
be taught such handiwork as carpentry, plumbing, electrical, tiling etc.
The idea is to help the artisans add some professionalism and education
to their trade.
Education: The governor started work on the
construction of the permanent site of Abia Polytechnic at Osisioma area
of Aba. On his 51st birthday last year, he launched the Friends of Abia
Schools Adoption Initiative (FASAI) to renovate the worst primary
schools in the 17 Local Government Areas of the State. He did this by
calling on his friends to help him give face-lift to primary schools in
serious state of dilapidation. Under its Universal Basic Education
Provisions, the Abia State Government has launched a pilot arrangement
to feed 30,000 primary school pupils three times in a week in 10 local
council Areas. Pupils are to be fed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
Aba Industrial Clusters/Skill Acquisition Programme: The
government has concluded plans to launch construction work on the Abia
Industrial Clusters starting with Aba. It is currently procuring
equipment needed for the clusters. The aim is to mechanize and automate
the process of leather-making and other artisanship works in Abia State.
The Aba Industrial Cluster would involve 40,000 shoemakers who are
capable of producing 1000 shoes daily. Also, the government has
resuscitated three moribund technical schools in the state to run the
skills acquisition programme. The goal is to develop the trade sector in
Abia so that the state could make all the shoes for school children,
the military and the paramilitary in Nigeria instead of importing them.
The Bad In The State:
Slow pace of work: Most roads that the government
started are yet to be completed apart from Ominyi drive and a few
others. Even the road leading to the governor’s village, Ururuka from
Obikabia Junction is yet to be completed.
Poor refuse disposal record: The governor, despite
making efforts, has not been able to tackle the issue of environmental
sanitation in the state. The problem of gabbage disposal in the
commercial city of Aba remains intractable. Although there has been
improvement in the area, Aba is still relatively dirty and this has been
blamed on the poor funding of ASEPA, the agency responsible for refuse
disposal in the state. The agency lacks adequate gabbage disposal
equipment, vehicles, staff and other logistics to properly carry out its
Rate of increase in invalid task forces: The increasing number of invalid task collectors and road stoppers are uncalled for.
Most of each task collectors are in collaboration with some force groups
collecting a certain amount from companies in the name of the state
Arrears of salaries: Workers welfare is hit an all-time low in
many agencies and parastatals in the state: For example, Abia
Polytechnic workers and staff of state university teaching hospital went
on Christmas break without pay as they are being owed seven months
salaries. Similarly, local government workers and staff of the state
broadcasting media outfit, BCA, have not been paid for about months.
Health: The governor has not done anything noticeable in the
health sector. The state University Teaching Hospital is almost
comatose. The primary health care service is in a poor and shabby
condition across the state.